Julius Erving leaves LeBron James off greatest players list

Hall of Fame small forward Julius Erving has long been outspoken in his NBA commentary, proffering his thoughts on the state of the league just days ago, sounding dismayed about the player movement amid stars like Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal asking out from their respective franchises.

One might feel like that displeasure played a part in Dr. J’s ranking of the 10 greatest NBA players of all-time, with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James curiously absent from the 16-time All-Star and four-time MVP’s list. After all, for a player that many believe to at least be in the conversation for the greatest player of all-time, LeBron not even being considered one of the 10 greatest players by Erving is certainly noteworthy.

Hall of Fame inductees like six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, four-time MVP Wilt Chamberlain, 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell, six-time MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson are almost universally considered to be one of the 10 greatest players of all-time.

However, a couple of names on the list are head-turners.

Chief among them may be former point guard Tiny Archibald. Though a Hall of Fame inductee whose best season (1972-73) saw him average 34.0 points and 11.4 assists per game for the Kansas City-Omaha Kings, Archibald has 13 fewer All-Star selections and three fewer NBA championships than James, not to mention no regular season MVP awards.

Nonetheless, the Doc explained his rationale for leaving players like LeBron off his list, saying that everyone else that he named had finished their careers already.

To that point, though the NBA world has plenty of respect for Archibald, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and the late Elgin Baylor, expect Dr. J to be changing his list up in a few years.